Written by: Barry Windsor-Smith
Art by: Barry Windsor-Smith
Marvel Comics, 148 Pages
From issues 72 through 84 of Marvel Comics Presents, the world was given one of the greatest comic character origin stories ever put to paper. In fact, it may be the best, as it is an absolute masterpiece of visual storytelling.
This is a story that has since been told in cartoons, live action movies and countless other mediums that have featured the Wolverine character. None of them, however, quite capture the true horror of the story. And that’s really what this is at it’s core: horror.
It starts with a younger Wolverine being beaten and abducted. He’s taken to a lab where he is experimented on and ultimately, gets his indestructible adamantium skeleton and claws.
It’s the long painful process that is center stage in the story. Wolverine is poked, prodded and has his body filled with molten metal, as his rapid healing power keeps him alive through all of it. The evil scientists strip away his mind but eventually, Wolverine escapes, and attacks his captors like a wild animal.
There are a few twists to the plot but I won’t spoil any of that.
At the time, this may have been the darkest story ever to be published by Marvel. It was intense, incredibly fucked up but it was also perfect, which is due to the great Barry Windsor-Smith, who wrote a stupendous story and illustrated some the best work in his legendary career.
Pairs well with: other Wolverine solo stories from the late ’80s into the early ’90s.